Cook: House advances bill to fund student learning grants

Posted by: Andi Sommers  | Friday, February 5, 2021 9:43 am

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 5, 2021) – The Indiana House of Representatives on Tuesday passed legislation that would establish the Student Learning Recovery Grant Program to help students experiencing learning loss due to the pandemic, according to State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero). 

Cook said students transitioning back and forth between e-learning and classroom learning are likely to experience some form of learning loss. The proposal would create a $150 million grant program to provide individuals or organizations resources to help students who have fallen behind in class, scored below academic standards or are at risk of falling behind.

"It's important we act quickly to ensure students who are struggling with learning loss because of COVID-19 can catch up and continue their educational journey on the right path," Cook said. "The Student Learning Recovery Grant Program could support students by providing the tools and resources necessary help close learning gaps as a result of the pandemic."

According to Cook, many students experience some form of learning loss after summer break, but most are typically able to relearn forgotten lessons quickly. However, a recent study completed by Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes, shows the average Indiana student lost 129 days of reading knowledge and 209 days of math knowledge as a result of COVID-19 disruptions.  

Program criteria for grants would be determined by the Indiana Department of Education, along with the State Board of Education. Cook said applying organizations, which could include local schools, colleges or universities, community or philanthropic organizations, and prospective, current and retired educators, would be required to submit a plan detailing the programs that would supplement a student's regular coursework. The DOE would be responsible for overseeing the grant program.

Visit iga.in.gov for more information on House Bill 1008. This legislation now moves to the Indiana Senate for further consideration.

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32,
which includes all of Tipton County and portions of Hamilton,
Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.